This video was spurned on by the death of Candice Berner of Slippery Rock Alaska on the Northern Peninsula - who was killed, eaten and partially buried by wolves. The first two clips are slightly gruff, Tom has done his research though and his books offered in the second clip. The third clip is on tracking wolves and identifying them from the signs. Key: 4" x 5" prints! Larger than most any dog and all coyotes.
Most people think that wolves are cute, cuddly and powerful
symbols of mother nature.Most peoples
experience of wolves is summed up by movies like Dances with Wolves and Never
Cry Wolf.Perhaps they’ve been to a
howling park and communed with wolves from the safety of a trail head with a
pack of curious humans surrounding them.
My first encounter with Red Wolves (Canis rufus) was
sometime between 2011 and December 2012.I had taken a long walk, perhaps between 3-4 miles back into the
uninhabited woodlands on the outskirts of North
Raleigh, North Carolina.The Red Wolves were being reintroduced into
the wild by a gang of government funded politically correct mean wells, whose
chief’s license plate read SEAWOLF.Fortunately the reintroduction project has been disbanded (thank you
The funniest thing about the reintroduction project was that
while it kept the public updated and used the media to keep the surrounding
farmers running for cover – it always published the same information “about 100
Red wolves have been released.”It said
this in 2009, 2010, 2011….Right through
closing…They never disclosed the actual
numbers – it was as though they released 100 and then nothing for 5 years.
A Red Wolf (probably much like it’s fellow Grey Wolf) has a
hundred mile range that it will travel to place distance between itself and
another pair of wolves.Red wolves work
in pairs with their nearest neighbors being ear shot away incase additional
“support” is necessary.
Any hows…There I was
some two miles back in a woods that is otherwise safe but for a few
snakes.I had seated myself on a fallen
log overlooking an all but dry river bed with dramatic 8-12 cliff like
edges.As I sat there sipping a glass of
a respectable vintage and pondering the completion of a book I’ve no small
interest in publishing – a sharp but slight sound emerged across the gulch and
slightly to my right.In recollection it
was made from the same vocal cords that emit that howl which is respectively
earmarked for a wolf.A sound which
means so many things of butterflies and bliss until you hear it alone in the
woods and you know it’s about a menu selection….No one can tell you these things – it’s
something you know.
Moments later the sound which was at once a high pitch and
yet a sly sound – so unlike another sound that you’d guess you hadn’t heard it – but for another matching sound in
response to the first.Minutes before
these two ‘calls of the wild’ were heard I’d had that little warning voice in
my head…‘You should go now…It’s time to head back, why you could work on
your book right now…’But I’d decided to
dilly dally and ignore the voice of concerned warning.It seemed like un-necessary pressure and
anyway what could happen out here??
Within second of the second call my hair was up on the back
of my neck and I’d already judged that it was a trianglization call out.Basically, that means one wolf was saying to
the other ‘do you see what I see???’A
human alone in the woods is fair game if they ‘never come here’ – heck who
I got to my feet, internal calculator whirring – “Don’t
run!” ran the internal log on what to do when in the presence of a predator
such as a wolf or bear.I walked with
reasonable swiftness some 20 yards.I
didn’t look back but glanced from side to side.Images of wolves flanking me sprang to mind as a lurched for a decent
stick with which to “walk” (defend).Seconds felt like minutes as I recalculated the situation.I wanted as much distance between myself and
that pair as possible – but to run?I
decided a jog was only reasonable, anything less was giving them time to
consider a stalking…I jogged and up a
ridge and down a valley I went.Finally
some time later I found the bob-wire fence that edged the forest, still some
miles from civilization but “human” territory never the less (it’s about
confidence and it comes in small things like a pasture sometimes).
As I stepped over the fence I got that silly feeling like
‘what a foolish thing to have thought, it might have only been the shadows of
the forest…Perhaps an owl?’Then, there on the ground not six feet away
was the head of an adult deer.Antlers
gone skull massively decayed.Not by sun
or age but you gnawing…Nearly every
square inch of that skull had deep canine bite marks in it.I picked it up, I photographed it and I
looked in wonder at the woods from which I’d emerged.
I felt safe, the “game” was over – whatever those wolves
thought it was, it was over – I’d escaped.I headed back over the fields and reached another boundary marker.This one lead out of the farmer’s field and
onto the 2 mile loop trail that went back to my Audubon sanctioned community (a
new concept in North Carolina).I crossed the gate and onto the main track, a
silence fell.A quiet unlike any other
quiet you will (ever) hear in the woods.Deep thick dead silence – the kind that you notice because you’ve never
heard it before.I noticed it and held
my walking stick with the awareness of a weapon.I paused to consider this meaning – the
meaning of no sound.A moment passed and
then a tiny chickadee sounded in the brush – a spiritual tension had broken and
I knew it meant I was safe.I stepped
out toward freedom and had not gone but a few paces when I heard the sound of
fierce fighting between the pair.In my
mind a simple explanation played out without request or explanation.‘You fool said the male wolf’s emotion –
you’ve exposed us to a human!Coward
said the female, you could have had him!’
I walked on, thankful for the little things like the black
capped chickadee (the soldiers bird) and emerged with a totally renewed sense
of the dangers of the woods alone.It
would not be my last encounter with these two…
Since many people have either never encountered wolves or are just now beginning to sense a new presence in the woods, while out hunting or even on your back forty... This article (copied verbatim) will bring you up to speed on just how clever the modern wolf is and give you a few facts (such as 20% larger brains) brandish. People love facts, they my be still spell bound but they love facts.
In the past five years there has been an explosion of opportunity for
hunting and trapping wolves across the U.S. First in the West, then in
Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, the chance to take a wolf appeared
for the first time in nearly a century.
This has led to a hunger among outdoorsmen for information about how
to hunt and trap these amazing but wary canines. In this first of two
parts, I will examine strategies and techniques for trapping and snaring
wolves; in part two, I will cover hunting over bait and predator
The best way to learn how to catch a wolf is to look to those who
have been doing it. In Canada and Alaska, wolves have not had the
protection they’ve known in the Lower 48, and many hunters and trappers
have developed and refined techniques that have served them well.
Alberta’s Gordy Klassen is recognized as Canada’s premier wolf trapper.
He travels around Canada giving wolf-trapping seminars both privately
and for government animal control agencies. He offers what he calls a
college course in wolf trapping and hunting each year, and the week-long
event is booked well in advance.
I spoke with Gordy at length, and he offered some advice to first
time trappers. “Wolves are not hard to trap,” he says, “but you have to
do it by their rules.” A fox or coyote trapper might catch an animal and
soon have another in the same trap. Not so with wolves. “Their brain is
20 percent larger than a comparable-sized dog, and they learn very
quickly,” he says. “You have to realize that each time you catch one,
you are educating an entire pack.”
They figure things out very quickly, so you can’t make mistakes. You
rarely get more than one chance at a wolf. One of the keys to the
equation is scent control.
Whether using traps or snares, Klassen is a self-confessed
scent-reduction fanatic. “You can’t fool a wolf’s nose,” he says, “so
you have to come as close to eliminating scent as possible and make your
set so appealing that it overcomes the fear of the remaining scent.”
He uses Scent Killer spray when he sets traps and never touches any
equipment with his bare hands. He is careful to never breathe on the
snare or trap and even chews spearmint gum to avoid the smell of his
breath in the area while constructing a set. “One drop of sweat will
ruin the whole deal,” he says, so he even uses sweat bands on his head
and arms when trapping in warm weather.
His equipment is clean and free from human scent or foreign odors. He
uses a product called Insta-Boil to boil the scent away from the
equipment and adds some pine, balsam or spruce to the mix to give the
equipment a natural smell.
When making a snare or trap set, Klassen uses a clean ground cloth to
stand or kneel on. Then when a catch is made, he uses a tarp to roll
the animal up and carries it out of the area. He says if there is any
blood in the area, other wolves may avoid it, so he shoots the wolf
behind the ear and then quickly rolls it onto the tarp to avoid blood on
the ground. Dragging the wolf out might offer the animals a clue as to
where it went, so that’s a no-no. Even in the winter when there is a
great deal of snow cover, the caught wolves are carried out of the area,
The wolf’s amazing ability to smell is also his undoing. Wolves are
very attracted to the scent of any canine that is not a regular visitor
to their hunting area. Urine and feces from wolves outside their home
range is the best attractor possible if you can get it. Klassen says
many serious wolf trappers have set up exchanges where each collects
feces in sealed bags which they can trade to trappers from other areas.
These are then used for bait at wolf sets. The typical sets that
trappers use to catch the smaller canines also catch wolves. Fox and
coyote sets like dirtholes, flat sets and urine post sets all work.
Bait stations are one of the most effective ways to snare wolves.
When the going is tough, wolves will come to fresh bait and are
vulnerable to properly set snares around bait stations. But Klassen
doesn’t do things in the order that you might think. Rather than put out
a bait and surround it with snares as the trails develop, he chooses an
area for the bait and sets the snares first. He tries to anticipate the
wolves’ approach to the bait site and sets 20 to 30 snares around the
area in any possible trail. After a few days, any human scent that might
be on or immediately in the area of each snare has dissipated. He then
brings in the bait.
Snaring wolves in winter is made easier by deep snow. Wolves will
follow the path of least resistance, even if it is a snowmobile trail.
Setting snares in these trails and in places where he has shuffled his
feet to create a trail can be very effective. The same is true of game
trails, but snares must be used with great caution where other animals
are using the same trails.
A simple set that has accounted for a lot of wolves in the winter
involves nothing more than a paper cup with a couple of tiny holes in it
filled with urine and suspended so it slowly drips onto the ground.
Snares are set in foot-trails around the scent. You can add stool from
outside the area for extra appeal.
Location, Location, Location
Wolves spend the majority of their time on the fringes of their home
range. A wolf pack’s home range is well defined, but they do not
regularly cover every square inch of it. In fact, just the opposite is
true. Often people are confused by the issue of home ranges when it
comes to canines, since home ranges are usually defined by a certain
number of acres. The animals do not aimlessly wander all around in their
“Wolves spend 95 percent of their time on the fringes of their
territory,” Klassen says. “They like trails and roads and will follow
these. Power line cuts and rivers are also followed.” The edges of the
territory will be defined by such a feature, and the wolves make regular
trips along these boundaries. Lakeshores, cliffs, swamps and other
barriers that are difficult to cross often make up the edge of the
territory. Or it might be something like a logging road.
Once you find one of these areas, the sign will be abundant. Wolves
will leave droppings and urinate every couple hundred feet along the
boundaries of their territory. Tracks from regular use will be visible.
Of course, it stands to reason that these are the high-percentage places
to set your traps, and the time it takes to find these boundaries is
well worth the effort.
The Tools Of The Trade
Snares are made of either 1⁄8-inch or 3⁄32-inch galvanized aircraft
cable. Klassen primarily uses 3⁄32, 7×7 strand cable in 60-inch lengths.
He then adds a swivel and another 60 inches of cable that leads to the
anchor point. He is very specific about the particulars of his sets. He
makes the snare loop 19 inches in diameter and sets it 18 inches above
the ground. A plastic collar is used directly above the lock so the
snare is held firmly in place. A support wire is held firmly in this
He “loads” his snares by bending it with his fingers so it drops
quickly upon first contact. He claims most of his snares hit the wolf
right behind the ears and it’s lights out very shortly, because the
arteries that lead to the brain are affected. No blood to the brain
means the wolf basically goes to sleep within seconds.If the snare
misses slightly, the wolf might be alive for some time, collared like a
pet. But wolves have very sharp teeth and their jaws can exert 1,100
pounds of pressure on a snare cable. It might take some time, but it’s
possible the wolf could chew the cable in two. Klassen prevents that by
anchoring the snare high or to the ground, so the lock settles either on
the back of the wolf’s neck or the throat area, and he cannot get his
teeth onto the cable in either case.
The RAM Power Snare in the Wolfmaster model is used where no
anchoring is available. Klassen uses this setup exclusively where sign
shows that the wolves are crossing beaver dams, one of his favorite
places to snare them. This snare has a large spring that triggers when a
wolf enters the snare, quickly closing it.
Foothold traps used include the Bridger Broad, the Alaska #9 and the 76
LAY, which is his favorite because it is center swiveled and tough, and
it has offset jaws and strong springs. These big traps do not need pan
covers; they are big and strong and you can sift dirt or snow right over
All traps are anchored solid; in no case is a drag or grapple used.
Wolves can be dangerous and you want to know exactly where it is.
Klassen uses long stakes, 3 feet long, made of 5⁄8-inch rebar. Long
chains with effective swiveling are important to holding these tough
Wolves love fresh, warm meat, of course, but they will not hesitate
to return to a kill or accept a free meal when it is available. This can
be their downfall. Any wild game or beef will work well for bait, but
wolves love beaver meat. It’s like crack cocaine to a wolf. “Wolves
would live on beaver meat 100 percent of the time if they could,”
When you’re establishing bait stations, a local trapper who can
supply you with beaver carcasses can be an important part of your
wolf-trapping success. Beaver meat is dark red and rich with a strong
smell. Wolves are attracted to the smell of the meat and the associated
beaver castor, which calls in all canines with its powerful scent.
Wolf trapping has become accessible to many people for the first
time. It’s no secret that wolf hunting and trapping is controversial and
inflammatory in many circles. It pays to learn the specifics and do it
right each time. Each time a trapper makes a mistake it has the
potential to flame up into a very tough situation for trappers, hunters
and game departments to deal with. I trust this article will put you on
your way to trapping your first wolf effectively and humanely.
Klassen’s Wolf-Trapping School
Gordy Klassen does about 25 workshops per year travelling around
Canada to help trappers catch wolves more effectively and humanely. He
also does a 35-hour course over four days at his camp near DeBolt,
Alberta. A third option is a wilderness trapline experience, where you
spend time with Gordy on what he calls his Wilderness College. For more
information about these options, call (780) 957-3731 or email
email@example.com. You can visit his website at www.trappergord.com.
Here we have the current outlook by USA Fish & Game Officials on encounters with wolves.... Naturally it leaves something to be desired. For one thing we say in the case of the Alaska encounter where the teacher/jogger was eatten that those with pepper spray found it all but in-effective. If they didn't have dogs that were drawing the packs attention.... As for naturally inquisitive - if they let themselves be seen your on the menu.
UPDATED 1 p.m. with quotes from WDFW enforcement chief.
A hunter who took a shot at a gray wolf after being virtually
surrounded by a pack in northeastern Washington on Oct. 30 has been
cleared of any wrongdoing by Washington Fish and Wildlife police who
investigated the incident.
Wolves are protected under state endangered species rules, but
exceptions are allowed for force when people or domestic animals are
The incident took place in the territory of the Smackout Pack in Stevens County northeast of Colville off the Aladdin Road, department officials say.
The hunter called officers and reported his chilling story, which is summarized in the agency's Dangerous Wildlife Incident Reports. The story was confirmed by Steve Crown, department enforcement chief. The name of the hunter is being withheld, he said.
The man was hunting with several people when he saw a wolf skirting along the brush headed in the same direction he was going.
According to the police report, he yelled and shot into the air and the wolf left.
The hunter said he saw three additional wolves about 25 yards ahead
of him, and they ran in the same direction as the first wolf.
The man then heard a noise in the brush, yelled to see if it was his
hunting partner and got no response. A black wolf appeared within 15-20
yards of and approached him. The man shot at the wolf. He told officers
he believed he hit it, but the wolf ran off.
Investigating officers said they found hair held by a small patch of
hide indicating a flesh would likely be more educational than lethal to
Updates on other wolf incidents:
The Teanaway Pack
collared female wolf that was found dead last month is under
investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since the wolf was
from the western portion of Washington where gray wolves are still
protected under federal endangered species rules. KING 5 TV reported
Wednesday from unconfirmed sources that the Teanaway wolf was shot.
The case of the wolf shot by a farmer in Whitman County
last month is still pending as Washington wildlife officials wait for
DNA results to make sure the wolf is not a hybrid before making a
decision on whether to turn the case over to the county prosecutor.
Crown acknowledged that as wolves repopulate their former territory
people who venture into the northeastern Washington woods have to be
more prepared for wildlife encounters than in the past.
But Crown said he’s cautious of promoting hysteria, pointing out that wolfs are naturally inquisitive.
“I think there’s probably more likelihood of being injured by a moose than a pack of wolves,” he said.
However, being armed with bear spray may be a wise precaution when
being out in the woods where bears, cougars, wolves and coyotes roam, he
“Carrying bear spray is a good precaution,” he said. “If you’re just
out checking fences, you can jump back into your pickup if something
threatening occurs. But when your venturing out to more remote areas,
your options are limited. You have to be able to take care of
If you've never had the experience of being in the presence of wolves (and I'm not counting viewing them from the bus in Denali or a group howling at a controlled park) then this video from our France team will bring you up to speed. Watch the systematic movement of these three wolves. Notice how they constantly check-in in an almost military grade fashion... Notice the bristle & tension.
Basic advice - if you must go into or through the woods alone walk with purpose and intention - do not wander. Deciding to run will be discussed in one of my two personal encounters sometime later. As Sting said, a gentleman will walk but never run. A sharp pointed stick down the open throat is the best single defense outside a decent gun. December & January are the worst months to be out in the woods as the starvation principle becomes do or die for the wolves. It's a very intense thing to discover your being stalked. Be Calm - Steel Pulse It. Spend as much of your energy on your confidence as you can spare. Jah Bless
Interestingly and unhappily one of the primary vectors for "wolf deprecation" is our dogs.... So ? Are we attached to our pets? Are they really not unlike unto our children in the bond and joy that they bring to many of our lives? Why then do we so easily allow wolves into our States as though hypnotically memorized? Why do we allow the "Politically Correct" tell us that what was once must now be again? Hitler was once - should Germany reintroduce his ilk? Let wolves be kept in Alaska where there is room and hardship to keep their population in check. Hunting hounds are among the most commonly reported but if you watch these videos you'll gain a certain knowledge of the way of the 'modern wolf.' They move in a hit and run style - where our dogs are essentially - Take Out. Is it difficult to take this step - speak out - write your congress men and women. Yes, bug them - they like it.
Interesting... North Carolina. This is most likely a Coyote attack. A wolf has a bit 3 times greater than a German Sheppard...